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opensignal.com

Crowdsourced network speed testing from OpenSignal.com

Open SignalWhat’s the best way to find out the best 3G or 4G network? Let all the users using the network report back with their experience. That’s what a new company called Open Signal aims to crowd source.

How does crowd sourced 3G mapping work?

We can all help to improve their coverage maps by grabbing the Android or iPhone apps. Once installed the app pings the cellular network you’re on and report back to the Open Signal servers. By recording the speed, network, tower and GPS location, Open Signal can determine which network has the best coverage in each area. Since speeds in any given area are constantly in flux, the data you see on the site today won’t be the same in the future. Also for now, the number of people in Thailand with the app is quite small, so the network survey is limited to those using the app.

Thailand cities and their best networks

Below are links to the maps of the major cities in Thailand, the current best network and their ranking compared to worldwide averages.

  • Bangkok – TOT 3G – 17% Better than worldwide average
  • Chiang Mai – AIS   – 35% Better than worldwide average
  • Pattaya – AIS  – 15% Better than worldwide average
  • Hua Hin – DTAC – 33% Better than worldwide average
  • Phuket – DTAC – 25% Better than worldwide average
  • Hat Yai – AIS – 49% Better than worldwide average
  • Khon Kaen – True Move – 29% Better than worldwide average

Bangkok 3G map

Power of the crowd

Open Signal aims to provide visualizations and analysis based on the data collected, including cellular coverage maps that show exactly how strong signal is in any particular area, as well as all the nearby towers for your carrier. As this data comes from users with the app, the info is not quite a good representation of carriers in Thailand – yet. Looking at this map of towers, it’s clear that much more data for Thailand is still needed. bangkok cell towers The site has a goal of being the “global authority on wireless networks” and to get there they will need a large install base.

Mobile data usage tracking

The mobile app has a few nice features besides just helping with a supply of user generated data for the maps on the site. One of the nicest features of the app is the data usage display. The app keeps track of your 3G data usage as well as your Wi-Fi data usage. The good thing about this is you can keep tabs on your cellular data allowance as well as realize the whole amount of usage you put through your smartphone. They also provide a month-to-month graph to give you some data visualization ability. iphone data usage

Mobile Expo at Queen Sirikit

The mobile expo is on October 3-6 at Queen Sirikit convention center. The Mobile Expo is essentially a huge phone and accessory sale. If you’re in the market for an android-based smart phone or device this event has what you’re looking for.

Notable brands that showed up this year are in Ais, DTAC, Truemove, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, and a handful of Thai brands.

The biggest booths were held by Samsung, AIS, Dtac, Nokia and Truemove. Apple of course was nowhere to be seen, however I can easily see why they would not want to be associated with the plethora of choice that has become android.

On display at the Samsung booth was a full line of android phones as well as their new smartwatch. The smartwatch was double the thickness of my pebble watch and quite a bit of chunky metal on your arm. I can’t see any mass adoption for this particular model, but surely will get slimmer and easier to use in the future.

The major non-phone product I noticed for sale was supplemental battery packs. These were everywhere in every color and size, a sign of the current lack of battery power in today’s smart phones.

The Intel booth displayed some products like the fitbit and jawbone devices, but they were not for sale.

The bottom line for this event is that it’s for selling phones and accessories. There’s not a whole lot of cutting edge tech on display. If you’re looking for a new android phone this would be the place to come.

A few photos from the 2013 Bangkok Mobile Expo

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SIM Card Sizes

SIM Card sizes have changed over the years and we’re now on our fourth size the nano SIM. All annoying for some, it looks like we’re just about to the end of the goal of trimming any excess plastic from the Subscriber Identity Module. The latest iPhones now use this smaller nano SIM. The good thing about these ever-increasing SIM sizes is it’s just an exercise in trimming plastic, and any simple SIM cutter can do the job.
credit ausdroid.net

Back in the old days, this is how many phones would take a full sized sim card.  Slide the whole credit card sized SIM into the back of the phone.

 

Old format nokia

 

old green nokia
Thankfully old big Nokia’s like this are no more, and we’ve reduced the necessary amount of plastic required to have a Sim card in our phones.
three thai sim cards

 

Here’s a chart of what the iPhones and iPads are currently using in terms of a Sim card.

 

Apple sim sizes

 

 

Also here’s a list of Android phones using a Micro SIM.   The list is now over 100 phones.

 

sim sizes mm

 

 

 

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